McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

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Light-up McIntosh December 15

Light-up McIntosh will begin at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. The event will host Santa Clause and an area choir from six local churches will sing.

10.18.06 -- EDITORIAL: Time to put on our company faces


I was driving through town this morning and saw the telltale signs of the festival: port-a-potties. Lots of them. The other clue was Charlsie Stott walking along the side of the road with wooden stakes. Usually she walks with the mayor.

I guess that means it's time to put on our "company's coming" faces so the rest of Florida recognizes us as the quaint, simple, quiet, charming, little, historic town that everyone who doesn't live here thinks we are. I've been thinking about how different that image is from some aspects of what living in McIntosh is really like. There's a divide there.

What I've come up with is that McIntosh's identity in the rest of the world's eyes is connected with the 1890's Days Historic Festival. Once a year the Gainesville Sun and the Ocala Star-Banner come to town and write a nice feature about how lovely McIntosh is. And McIntosh is quite lovely.

But no town is going to be lovely all the time.

Even a beautiful woman has a bad-hair day. McIntosh had more than a few bad-hair days this year. Instead of them just slipping by, being passed around the rumor-mill, we put them online here and we talk about them. There's not been a daily, public recording of the meetings in years. And that is where the disconnect in our identity comes in.

Someone pulled me aside one day in the grocery store to thank me for destroying the image that person had of McIntosh. No, I'm not saying who. But the point was that the McIntosh in the blog is a very different McIntosh than the one we see once a year in the city papers.

But that doesn't mean that image in those yearly features isn't McIntosh, too.

Since it's festival time, I'd like to hear some comments about everyone's favorite festival memory or what they are most looking forward to this year. I keep hearing about this ** to-die-for corn-on-the-cob. I'm a kettle-corn girl myself.

And my favorite festival memory was the year that Hap Hopwood took my aunt and I on a tour through the McIntosh Hotel and told us which rooms were haunted. (The upstairs bedrooms on the southwest side.)

Oh yeah, and don't be afraid to sign your names if you want.

(** I don't know who makes this corn. I've heard Howard and the Mason's. But both these are incorrect. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.)

posted by Cher @ 4:06 PM,


At   October 19, 2006 9:20 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

The reason we moved to McIntosh was because we came to the Festival and everyone was so friendly. That still stands. We may have differences, but show me a family that doesn't and I'll show you a family in a cemetary. It is still a warm wonderful place to live and the ones of you who think differently just haven't lived in large stupid cities.

At   October 19, 2006 9:33 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Ya'll are really going to laugh at my favorite McIntosh festival memory and that is as follows. The first year we moved here right after we got married I decided that I would make all these really pretty beaded necklaces and braclets and sell them at the festival. Well, you have to understand that I am not a really crafty person, but I get by.

So, my best friend and I made all this jewelery over a couple months with big hopes that we would make a little extra spending money since we were both still in college. Well, let me tell you that I ended up selling a few pieces, about $350, which was nothing like I had invested. Then several years later I ended up selling them in a garage sale for about 50 cents a piece. :-)

The moral of that story to me was that I really needed to keep studying medicine and that I wasn't much of a business girl! But regardless, it was so fun to be at the festival participating and seeing many people that I was born and raised around from Ocala.

However, I will never forget how this solified my career as an ARNP and not a business woman, and it was all through a memory and experience of McIntosh festival and those silly beaded braclets!!


At   October 20, 2006 7:50 AM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Our Town,I have always been amazed how the town is filled with so many people on Saturday and then on Sunday morning the town looks so nice.Thanks to all that work it and clean up.

At   October 20, 2006 11:27 AM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

I feel that nothing negative about our town or it's people needs to go on here anymore.
Fred DelRusso

At   October 20, 2006 4:42 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Amen Fred !!!!! Preach on!!!

At   October 20, 2006 8:48 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

First day at the festival, Well setup day. Today has been another exciting festival setup day it is hard to work when you have so many positive actions going on in town. I spent the afternoon just driving around waving saying hi just spectatoring. So many people and I did not see one that did not smile. This is our town. The town that I will never leave. The town I hope to teach my boys morals and values. I cannot say enough goodness for our town. This town has so many people who have been around for so many years with the old values that I will always respect to the highest degree. These are the people I trust my boys to be around. And want them to learn from. Nobody is perfect and not everyone shares the same thoughts especially when it comes to politics. But politics are just a tiny thing in our lives. We all need to step back and say to ourselves, Do I really not want to be my neibors friend? Of course we all want to be friends maybe even family. It may take a while for this wound to heal and I ask everyone on this blog and in our town, Let's fix this together just like the family that we all are. I know this sound soppy to some people but I am willing to say or do whatever is needed to help fix this town. When I had become a single dad years ago I decided to try something new in my life, it is simple but it gives me a piece of mind. I try to do something simple as a good deed to someone or some people. Well I try to keep tabs on these good deeds and make sure I do at least three a month with my boys when possible to teach them good values and respect to others. I am asking each of you to give one good deed to our town and it is to help heal it. All I ask is to forgive each other just as simple as that. It is such a little thing to do. This is the time for it, A NEW BEGINNING. Get out tomorrow and smile. Today I have had so many stories told to me on how beautiful this town is, at least 12. That says something for us. Let's honor it, Let's give our town what it needs to heal and grow in a family direction. Forgive, it is so easy to do. What I am asking is no more name calling or he said she said. Instead lets have more Hi with a smile and a wave that you mean. Squeeze it out it is so easy to do. I can't heal this town on my own but we all can heal it together. I will never give up on this healing and hope for help by you. Oh and sorry Howard I have been telling everyone about that you had the great corn. I was wrong it was someone else. I have starved my self for tomorrow and will have to go back on my diet Sunday morning. Thank you for reading this. I know deep inside we all feel this way or atleast want to. And can.
Fred DelRusso

At   October 21, 2006 12:13 PM     ,    Blogger Sheila Winters    said...

Thanks for your words, Fred. They are obviously heartfelt. McIntosh is a very special town. The festival brings out the very best in us. I hope we can sustain this good feeling throughout the year and strive to bring out the good in each other. It's such a joy to see people smiling.

At   October 22, 2006 2:38 PM     ,    Blogger fisherwife    said...

I've lived here nearly all my life. My earliest memories are of riding the fire engine with my Dad, Cary McCollum (volunteer fire chief), through the festival parade. That's right! We used to have a parade. Later, I held the banner for North Marion High School's Marching Band. Still later, I strolled my baby daughter through the streets and bought her a handmade outfit. Always, my family gets together and has a good time. We made money on parking, sold raffle tix for causes, worked booths for charity, ate too much funnel cake to count and had a really good time.

As an adult, I am impressed with the Friends and their superior planning of the event. The cleanup is superb! Having 24,000 friends for the day is a big deal....but they do see the real McIntosh. Beautiful yards, gorgeous old homes, gigantic and ancient oaks color our landscape. But the people are much more colorful. Even the ones we don't think we like. I love the personalities in this town. Lots of people come and go here. In order to stay here, I think you need to be a "character". We do things a little differently. We don't run with the pack. We don't do what is trendy. We have individual ideas. I like that. I think I'll stay.

At   October 23, 2006 6:41 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

An Event to be Proud Of

McIntosh residents once again have risen to the occasion. As a small town, we provided a lasting good impression on thousands of visitors this weekend.

Not only did we host one of the largest festivals events most people will ever see, we did it with Grace and Style.

The "Friends of McIntosh" deserve a GREAT BIG Thank You and Well Done, especially Beverly who was inexhaustible in her efforts to make this an enjoyable and delicious, fun-filled day to remember.

Few attending the festival have any idea of the long hours and hard work that went into making this THE premiere "Fall Festival" to attend in North Florida...maybe even in all of Florida. Heck, why stop all of the USA!

Though I have witnessed the wonder of 1890s days before, this year I had the benefit of seeing it anew through the eyes of family that were seeing it for the first time. Here are just a few things that make our festival the Best of the Best.

1. Its huge variety and selection of vendors offering many unique items at reasonable prices. I've been to many craft fairs, but never have I seen people arriving in droves with wagons and handcarts to take away their purchases. You do in McIntosh!
2. Good law enforcement presence and traffic management. How many events have you sat snarled in traffic for hours? Not in McIntosh!
3. Good EMT support. Our concern for and the comfort of our visitors shows through in thorough planning.
4. Well spaced and well marked booth locations (Beverly, we saw you out there in the wee hours pounding stakes)
5. Lots of new seating on benches and chairs provided by the "Friends"...again good planning for our visitors' comfort.
6. Enough port-o-potties that NO ONE had to wait in line. They were clean and plentiful. We've all been to events where not only did you have to wait in a long line, but the facilities were a mess and usually lacking in toilet paper. NOT in McIntosh!
7. Plenty of trash receptacles, which were constantly attended and changed out to keep our town clean and fresh. You know what most places look like after an event such as this where the public has left acres of trash so thick you can hardly see the ground. NOT in McIntosh!
8. As night drew near after the close of the festival, AMAZINGLY you couldn't even tell there had been a festival! This is perhaps the most amazing part of the festival and only its resident get to appreciate it. I am certain this is unique to McIntosh and is only possible through the cooperation and hard work of its many "friends" and neighbors. It is a feat that is impossible and unimaginable anywhere else. But NOT in McIntosh!
Yes, it was a lot of hard work. I can only guess at how much effort went into making this great event happen. But, the Love, the Caring and the Respect of McIntosh Residents showed through and made it all possible. And, it was catching. Because we care, outsiders cared. We showed thousands that there is HOPE and GOOD still in the world and that people can work together to make things RIGHT!

I am proud to be part of the McIntosh Family as should we all be.

A BIG Thank You! To Beverly, the "Friends of McIntosh", the youth groups who helped with cleanup and all the others who worked behind the scene to make this festival a HUGE success.

Susan M. DelRusso

At   October 24, 2006 10:30 AM     ,    Blogger fisherwife    said...

Well put!


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Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

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